Learn about your rights as an employee

Learn about common employment issues that happen after a disaster.

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Unsafe work conditions
  • Job loss due to COVID-19
  • COVID-19 protections for employees

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California Free Legal Answers

Write your legal question relating to COVID-19 or the recent wildfires and a volunteer attorney will write you a free answer.


Law Help California

Find information about common legal problems. Get help finding legal aid organizations near you


Video Resources

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Play Video

Disaster Prep 101: Employment Rights

Play Video

Disability Leave Rights When Disaster Strikes

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Your Employment Rights In an Extreme Heat Event

Disaster Unemployment

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides financial help to workers that are unable to work because of natural disasters You may be eligible for DUA if you lived or worked in the disaster area, and the disaster affected you in the following ways:

  1. You no longer have a place to work, or job
  2. You cant make it to your place of work
  3. Your work site was damaged
  4. You are unable to work due to an injury caused by the disaster

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Sick Leave provides employees with sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19.
Covered Employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021

You may qualify for paid sick leave if you are unable to work due to :

  1. Quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID-19
  2. You have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis
  3. You are caring for someone that is quarantined or under isolation order due to COVID-19 or someone that is self-quarantined
  4. You are caring for you child whose school or childcare is closed due to COVID-19
  5. Vaccine related – getting the vaccine and caring for yourself after due to vaccine-related symptoms

COVID-19 Worker Protections

Starting November 30 these emergency protections are in effect:
Temporary Cal/OSHA worker protections:

  1. Your employer must have a written COVID-19 protection plan
  2. Your employer must provide you with information and training about COVID-19 spread and prevention

If there have three or more COVID-19 cases at your workplace in the last two weeks

  1. your employer must provide you with free COVID-19 testing if you had potential exposure at work
  2. You employer must notify the local health department within 48 hours of learning that there at least three or more COVID-19 cases.

Check if your job is doing enough to keep you safe

Report unsafe working conditions here

Wildfire Worker Protections

Cal/OSHA has an emergency regulation (section 5141.1) to protect employees exposed to wildfire smoke.
If you are working when the AQI is 151 or greater you are protected!
Your employer must do the following to protect you from wildfire smoke

(1) Check the current AQI before and periodically during each shift.
(2) Provide training to employees.
(3) Lower employee exposures.
(4) Provide respirators and encourage their use.

Relief Fund

Southern Smoke Foundation

Southern Smoke Foundation Provides financial help to those in the food and beverage industry

Employment FAQs

FAQs by Legal Aid of 
Sonoma County

Kendall Jarvis
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Tomas Gonzalez
Disaster Relief Case Manager
Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Kris Lopez
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County